The first comic I remember reading was Dick Tracy. I checked this giant book of daily newspaper strips I found in library stacks out. That led to all of Calvin & Hobbes, then a few other newspaper strips, like Donald the Duck. I even managed to find a collection of some very old Superman comics and a few Batman comics.
The first issues I read were Ultimate Spiderman, around 2002 – after the Tobey Maguire movie came out. Right after my library remolded they beefed up the young adult section and every few weeks there were new issues of Spiderman, some Star Wars comics and a few independent comics I was less interested in. They could only be read in-library like the new periodicals.
Life is chaos and chaos changes both priorities and interests.
Over 10 years later, after I finished high school, college, and graduate school, I finally have a real job, a job that provides enough money to buy comics.
At the end of 2013, my employment was relatively stable, and after reading a few Trade Paperback collections of comics from the library, I realized I wanted to read more current comics as they were coming out. My timing was perfect, as Marvel was starting a number of new stories at that time. So I started with a few titles – Black Widow and Captain Marvel.
In the time since I have started reading comics, I have learned a lot. I have picked up some series, only to drop them after six issues (yes, I am talking about All-New Captain America). I have started some that I missed, and I have watched issues come and go on the stands while I waited for a trade paperback collection.
I have shared stories from comics as examples for motivational speeches – why friendship is important, the value of making the right choice, and the impact of standing up for others.
Reading comics has taught me that everyone has their thing, their passion, their collection. I look at all my friends and I see different things. One friend buys cameras like they are going out of style, another buys used records, still another collects pieces of art. Many friends collect books, some friends collect time at the gym.
I collect comics. For once, this is not embarrassing, this is not shameful. This is a part of who I now know I have always wanted to be.